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The Ego Cult

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posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Sahabi

Sigmund Freud's theoretical concepts of the psyche are safe and clean. However, are we merely Ego, Super Ego, and Id? Fundamentally, and at the most basic of conceptualizations, are these 3 concepts the raw core of who we are? I say no.

The attributes you have associated with the Id are characteristics of the R-Complex, or Reptilian Mind.

The attributes you have associated with the Super Ego are characteristics of both the Left and Right hemispheres of the brain.

The attributes you have associated with Ego is actually the observer, the watcher, consciousness, and awareness.

Basically, the Freudian concepts of Ego, Super Ego, and Id only focus on mind. The Freudian model is out-dated in my opinion.

Here's how I understand human existence:

Universal Consciousness (All/One, Highest Self) --->
Ego (Illusionist of Separation) --->
Lower Self (Individual Identity) --->
Instincts (R-Complex) + Emotions (Heart, Feminine, Right-Hemisphere) +'Thoughts (Mind, Masculine, Left-Hemisphere)


Indeed. And, my point is that we cannot exist without each of them.

The sum of the parts makes the whole.

Where are our emotions, illusions, identity, instincts, and thoughts housed and processed? The mind.

Where do we decide on our beliefs and whether or not to believe in One/Highest Self, etc? The mind.

Where do all things begin and end? The mind.

What moderates our emotions, illusions, identity, instincts, and thoughts? The Ego.

I submit that the Universal Consciousness could not exist without the Ego.




posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by ottobot
 


IMHO, the whole is in fact greater than the sum of its parts.
second



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 


So for example you have five things that make up what humans appear to be the whole. What is the extra stuff that Humans are unable to perceive? Because to me the extra stuff can not be something because if it is something then it is just a part of the whole and as far as I know the human mind has not been able to describe nothing yet. So, what is the extra stuff to you?



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by Doublemint
 


I try to stay open minded to things not yet known, and believe that they exist independent of my, or our, knowing them, a Holism idea or approach. Therefore, I see it as just because we think we have categorized all the parts (that we experience, thus know them) to a thing, doesn't necessarily mean you can dissect or ad up its functioning. If you google or search Holism, it will explain it better than I can, I'm sure.
An example, I guess, could be: We know electrical signals fire over synapses in our brain with neurochemicals driving and providing a backdrop for complex reactions to take place, etc., by which the autonomic nervous system sends signals to keep the heart pumping and the lungs breathing, and so on as to the operations of the acknowledge and known parts of the miracle of our bodies and lives. We can observe, know, and prove all this.
But this still doesn't explain where that first electrical impulse to fire our brain synapses to run our hearts fires up, perhaps even when exactly. . .if energy can neither be destroyed nor created, if that's true, where did the energy come from to provide that first spark of life?
Perhaps this isn't even a good analogy, either.
The other stuff? A combination of the conscious, subconscious, stripped of its physical essence that it has used as a shell to perceive its environment till now and perhaps many times over again--that part of you called your soul, spirit,essence, embodiment of energy that is you separated from your chemical and material "house" called your body.

edit on 6-2-2012 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-2-2012 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by Ralphy
 


If you do things simply because of your own ego, then you miss the path to spiritual development. A person whom can set their own ego aside to help another person in their time of need they will benefit from spiritual growth. Ego is not bad, but it can cloud the better judgment of a person.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 05:01 PM
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reply to post by ottobot
 


After reading your reply, it seems that our understandings are so close and similar, it is almost a waste of time to nit-pick the small points of contention.

When you say that we can not exist without the varying aspects of the psyche... and that Universal Consciousness can not exist without Ego.... well, it is to my understanding that not one single thing can exist without every iota of existence. I subscribe to the concept of co-dependent co-arising. Every single thing is dependent on every single thing to exist.

I do not define 'Ego' as Sigmund Freud's theoretical conceptualization. Ego is the mechanism that creates the illusions of separation, whereas All is One and Whole. We do need Ego. It plays a key role in allowing us to have any experience at all, it gives us relativity, subjectivity, and the individual identity.

Ego is not a thing to be neglected, shunned, or ostracized. Like all aspects of life, all aspects of our emotions and psyche.... we must have balance. Too little Ego and we become detached from the physical world. Too much Ego and we become prejudice and have illusions of self grandeur.

Ego is not to be thrown out, nor should Ego be allowed to run wild. Ego must be properly understood and utilized in such a way to gain perfect balance of being the individual tree and the entire forest at the same time.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 05:11 PM
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Beyond the subatomic realm, all of existence is composed of the same fundamental wave/particle energy. Ego is the mechanism that gives illusionary and false separation within the One. We need Ego to be able to have all subjective and relative experiences.

• Too little Ego and one becomes detached from physical reality.
• Balanced Ego allows the One to have the experience as mankind, or animals, or plants, etc.
• Too much Ego and Self believes Self to be different than Self. Self hurts Self. Animal cruelty, war, rape, murder, theft, oppression, racism, tyranny, etc.


When we know All is One, why would we rape our Self, or steal from our Self, or drop bombs on Self, or allow Self to starve in Africa? This is the liberation and transcendence from Ego I am talking about.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 06:14 PM
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I find this thread and many of the posts to be fascinating.

I think one of the major problems that modern society has with understanding and discussing the ego, is that the terms are not really clear cut and really the western versus eastern views of ego are far different.

The western system actually was greatly influenced by the Greek philosophers and Descartes' idea of "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think therefore I am", which leads to the idea that we are our thoughts and our ego; the ring master of our perpetual streams of thought. On the other hand eastern philosophy, comes primarily from Doaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, which through the exercise of meditation came to a great philosophical realization; that even if you silence the constant stream of thought you still exist. In fact one could say that is one of the primary differences between western and eastern philosophical traditions; the west says "I think therefore I am" and the east says "Even if I don't think, I still am." Add to that mistranslation and misunderstanding of ideas moving from one system to the other it can create a great deal of confusion.

A prime example of this is how many western people view the concept of karma. They tend to see it as some divine universal instantaneous punishment and reward system, ie if you do bad things, bad things are going to start happening to you, which in my opinion is far closer the the judeo christian idea of you "reap what you sow", then the eastern view of karma. If you look to hindi and budhhist texts regarding karma, the concept becomes much more complex then that and has far more to do with the cycles of reincarnation, then your current life time. In fact many hindi and buddhists texts even reach a point where they explain that karma doesn't even exist and that it is an illusion of the cycle of samsara that can never be balanced or broken, but only transcended.

As, far as my view on the ego, I do agree it is necessary for people to be able to react and interact with the physical world, but it also should be at least occasionally silenced and mastered. I kind of look at it like being a tool of consciousness; the ego is like a hammer, it works well for some situations, but not so well for others. The problem the average person has is because the ego is the default tool, many don't realize there are other tools; or states of consciousness in their tool box, and they continue to use the ego for everything, even when it isn't the best tool to use and can actually cause more harm then good in certain situations. I also think the primary goal of meditation is not to destroy the ego, but to set it aside, so the individual is able to realize that there are other tools in the toolbox of consciousness and starts trying them out as well.

Anyway, this awesome thread and all the posts give much food for philosophical thought.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by prisoneronashipoffools
 


If I could give you two stars I would

Great observation of the issue of differing definitions and concepts. Very nice explanation of the two most forefront camps of 'Ego' thought. I enjoyed your personal opinions of Ego as well. Peace.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 07:14 PM
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I've tended to drift from the concept of Id, Super Ego and Ego. Not because they are "wrong" but rather they are only an interpretation. A valid one for sure, but one of many possibilities in our understanding.

The phrase for me is, "ego component of the thinking mind". I used to believe the ego was something to be rid of, i.e. kill the ego. Having shed belief, it makes sense that the ego is a natural component and needs understanding--like the lowly appendix. We want to cut it out at the first chance and only later realize it may have been there for a purpose.

The differentiation to me is in soul/spirit/creative force/godwithin/one-mind/consciousness/etc and the mind/brain. The brain is the autonomous function center. Breathe. Poop. Fight/Flight. Input, Process, Output. The mind component is the part that thinks--focused and random. Mystery input from fears, externals, conscious effort, chatter or monkey mind. For most, this is the area they identify with. They believe their thoughts are who they are. That to me is the ego component. The part that labels and judges.

When one learns to quiet that part & use it as a tool much like the hand, the power then originates from the soul/spirit/awareness rather from the chitty chatty thinking mind. If your hand ran things and it started slapping you in the ., you would take the other hand and hold it down. But we let the thinking part of the mind run things because that is the programs we have received via parents & society. Most don't even know there is another path.

As one starts to become consciously aware of the process, the body becomes a creation machine. Awareness is the filter of the monkey mind and by this time it has been relegated to a more subservient role. This is the new plateau that many are starting to experience. They are shedding the traps of the egoic mind in exchange for the life changing awareness of connectivity.

One poster asked how one does not judge. Non-judgment and non-use of labels is a result of learning to quiet the mind. It's the stripping away of labels and taking control of the thinking mind and operating from the stillness of the present.

I may be off or mis-using some of the vocab but it seems semantically we're all dancing around the same thing.

Peace.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 07:40 PM
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reply to post by prisoneronashipoffools
 


"Cogito ergo sum" in no way discounts or diminishes the idea that even without thought existence is. Indeed, Descartes wrote Meditations on First Philosophy: In Which the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul are Demonstrated, published in 1614. Descartes makes it clear in the preface of this book that his aim is to find philosophical evidence of God that offers a more scientific approach than the theological approach which he argues is a circular reasoning of "we must believe in God because the scriptures tell us so".

In his meditations, he employs a method of radical doubt as a way to undermine his own belief system. He does this because he remembers plenty of times where his physical senses have failed him, or misled him. It was in his earlier work Discourse on the Method where Descartes first presented his "I think, therefore I am" single certainty among a sea of doubt. He, however, did not present this idea in Latin first, but rather in French: "Je pense donc je suis," allowing him to reach a much wider audience than the more famous "Cogito ergo sum" Latin phrase would have allowed.

Descartes understood the limitations of this single certainty and spoke to these limitations. "I think therefore I am" offers no philosophical proof for existence of the body, only the mind, and while the "mind/body problem" was nothing new for Western philosophers, Descartes single certainty brought the "mind/body problem" back to the forefront of philosophical debate, ultimately leading to the disparate philosophical camps of Dualism and Monism. Descartes was in the Dualist camp, and believed that the mind is a separate substance that that of the body.

Descartes never made any arguments that the only way for this separate substance known as the mind to exist is through thought alone. He only stumbled upon the certainty that because he doubted, this was thought, and because he thought, his mind existed.

This said, it is pointless to attempt to compare and contrast Eastern philosophy with Western philosophy, particularly any Eastern philosophy written in Chinese characters. The Chinese written language is far, far, far, less linear than Western language, and one might reasonably argue it is far, far, far, more quantum in its approach. Attempting to translate what has been written in Chinese characters into a linear language is only doing a great disservice to what was actually written in Chinese.

To remain undisturbed is sound advice, method, and practice in any culture, and no one needs to in any way diminish the Ego in order to remain undisturbed. I suspect the Ego has no problem with remaining undisturbed, or being gentle in doing right, and can easily understand the duality of good and evil, beauty and ugly, and victory and defeat. Indeed, if one is to master the stillness of thought, it is arguable they are far more likely to accomplish such a goal through their Ego than their Id. The Id lacks the necessary patience and forethought to understand the value of remaining undisturbed.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 





"Cogito ergo sum" in no way discounts or diminishes the idea that even without thought existence is. Indeed, Descartes wrote Meditations on First Philosophy: In Which the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul are Demonstrated, published in 1614. Descartes makes it clear in the preface of this book that his aim is to find philosophical evidence of God that offers a more scientific approach than the theological approach which he argues is a circular reasoning of "we must believe in God because the scriptures tell us so". In his meditations, he employs a method of radical doubt as a way to undermine his own belief system. He does this because he remembers plenty of times where his physical senses have failed him, or misled him. It was in his earlier work Discourse on the Method where Descartes first presented his "I think, therefore I am" single certainty among a sea of doubt. He, however, did not present this idea in Latin first, but rather in French: "Je pense donc je suis," allowing him to reach a much wider audience than the more famous "Cogito ergo sum" Latin phrase would have allowed. Descartes understood the limitations of this single certainty and spoke to these limitations. "I think therefore I am" offers no philosophical proof for existence of the body, only the mind, and while the "mind/body problem" was nothing new for Western philosophers, Descartes single certainty brought the "mind/body problem" back to the forefront of philosophical debate, ultimately leading to the disparate philosophical camps of Dualism and Monism. Descartes was in the Dualist camp, and believed that the mind is a separate substance that that of the body. Descartes never made any arguments that the only way for this separate substance known as the mind to exist is through thought alone. He only stumbled upon the certainty that because he doubted, this was thought, and because he thought, his mind existed.


Very interesting information about Descartes and things I did not know, not having studied his primary works directly, but only seeing some of his thoughts and ideas mentioned in other works. I was not trying to say that "I think therefore I am" was Descarte's primary thought on the subject or even that he himself, was suggesting that thought is the basis of consciousness, but that it is the injection of that phrase and idea into western philosophical thought that has shaped many of the wests views on consciousness, primarily that it is linked to thought; and yes not all scientists agree on this and there is much debate, but, one only has to look at medicine and psychology to see that the west, views thought and consciousness to be inseparably married if not the same thing. Take the terms of conscious states, if you are engaged in active thought, you are conscious, on the other hand if you are asleep or knocked out, regardless of whether you are indeed having conscious experiences in that state, you are considered unconscious. It is, I admit an oversimplification of philosophical ideas and stances, but I do see the west valuing the focused alert state as being the best if not the only "real" state of consciousness.




This said, it is pointless to attempt to compare and contrast Eastern philosophy with Western philosophy, particularly any Eastern philosophy written in Chinese characters. The Chinese written language is far, far, far, less linear than Western language, and one might reasonably argue it is far, far, far, more quantum in its approach. Attempting to translate what has been written in Chinese characters into a linear language is only doing a great disservice to what was actually written in Chinese.


Though, I agree with your opinion on translations from one culture to another is fraught with mistranslation and misinterpretation, which is something I mentioned as well, I do not agree that it is pointless to compare and contrast any philosophy, that is the nature of differentiation, judgment and debate and in the end philosophy is no more or no less, the weighing and testing; in debate, of ideas. And as far as mistranslation and cultural differences of language though, it can sow confusion, in the end it is not really an un scalable roadblock either, especially since many times philosophical truths are put forth in symbolic and metaphorical form. Look at all the mystics through history and across cultures that use different terms, but if you look at the over all descriptions and metaphors of their terms you see that they are often talking about the same states, truths or concepts.




To remain undisturbed is sound advice, method, and practice in any culture, and no one needs to in any way diminish the Ego in order to remain undisturbed. I suspect the Ego has no problem with remaining undisturbed, or being gentle in doing right, and can easily understand the duality of good and evil, beauty and ugly, and victory and defeat. Indeed, if one is to master the stillness of thought, it is arguable they are far more likely to accomplish such a goal through their Ego than their Id. The Id lacks the necessary patience and forethought to understand the value of remaining undisturbed.


And in reading this last paragraph, I see that it kind of illustrates my point about the difficulty in discussing ego in the first place. After all you clearly mention ego being capable of being still and undisturbed, but if you go to descriptions of what is translated as ego in eastern texts it is incapable of stillness, in fact in eastern texts it is often described as being "the monkey mind" ie it is always in motion and always producing thought, like a monkey chattering endlessly in the trees and its only when one learns to silence that part of the mind; ego, that one can truly experience the empty or still mind, which is seen as the true nature or state of mind in eastern philosophies.

In any case I will admit I am not a great scholar nor lettered, just a layman who enjoys reading anything I can get on spirituality, comparative religions, philosophy, etc. And now, I will have to add the works of Descartes to my reading list. Anyway, thanks for sharing your info and ideas.

edit on 6-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typos

edit on 6-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:00 PM
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reply to post by tetra50
 


Maybe I just misunderstood you I do think there is other stuff out there the soul, spirit, whatever you like to call it. I was thinking you meant more on the line of something like this. Math is probably a bad example for this but I can't think of anything better. So we understand 2+2=4 and when I read the whole is greater then the parts I thought you were saying some thing like 1+2=4 or any number greater. I do think there are parts that we do not know about and I am just not sure if the whole is greater then the sum of the parts.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by prisoneronashipoffools
 





And in reading this last paragraph, I see that it kind of illustrates my point about the difficulty in discussing ego in the first place. After all you clearly mention ego being capabale of being still and undesturbed, but if you go to descriptions of what is translated as ego in eastern texts it is incapabale of stillness, in fact in eastern texts it is often described as being "the monkey mind" ie it is always in motion and always producing thought, like a monkey chattering endlessly in the trees and its only when one learns to silence that part of the mind; ego, that one can truly experence the empty or still mind, which is seen as the true nature or state of mind in eastern philosophies.


This is actually what I was attempting to get at in my initial post in this thread. I suspect that whatever word (or words or character(s)) Eastern philosophers are using to describe "chattering monkeys" the lost in the translation problem lies with the linear languages of a collective Western culture who, for lack of any other word, translate whatever word is being used to describe "chattering monkey mind" into meaning Ego, but that this is just an attempt to find a Western word that would generally conflate with this word describing "chattering monkey mind".

There is nothing about an Ego that requires constant thought. That said, there are Western philosophers, most notably Ayn Rand, who too easily dismiss Eastern thought, particularly Zen, based upon the translation they were given. Rand understood the translation of the word Zen to mean "the way of no thought". This is a much different translation than the one I have been given for that word. I understand Zen to mean "the way of the small thought". The latter makes much more sense than the Rand's understanding in the former translation, and based on her understanding one can understand where a rationalist would cringe at such an idea such as "no thought".

The way of the small thought is wholly harmonious with the meditations, discipline and koans that come with Zen.

At any rate, I am not so certain that this "chattering monkey mind" is actually called an Ego in Eastern philosophy and the conflation is derived from Western translators desperately looking for Western words that might fit into the context of whatever word was used to describe "chattering monkey mind".



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:29 PM
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This is actually what I was attempting to get at in my initial post in this thread. I suspect that whatever word (or words or character(s)) Eastern philosophers are using to describe "chattering monkeys" the lost in the translation problem lies with the linear languages of a collective Western culture who, for lack of any other word, translate whatever word is being used to describe "chattering monkey mind" into meaning Ego, but that this is just an attempt to find a Western word that would generally conflate with this word describing "chattering monkey mind".
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Yes, I can see your point and I agree, comparing ideas from culture to another is difficult due to translation and even in some cases where there is no word or cultural reference for an idea or experience from another.



There is nothing about an Ego that requires constant thought. That said, there are Western philosophers, most notably Ayn Rand, who too easily dismiss Eastern thought, particularly Zen, based upon the translation they were given. Rand understood the translation of the word Zen to mean "the way of no thought". This is a much different translation than the one I have been given for that word. I understand Zen to mean "the way of the small thought". The latter makes much more sense than the Rand's understanding in the former translation, and based on her understanding one can understand where a rationalist would cringe at such an idea such as "no thought".


I too have seen many western books on zen and meditation that also translate it to mean "no" and I think "small" is a good interpretation. I personally have always interpreted zen to mean "empty", but that is because I began with kabblism and other western esoteric systems; even though kabblism is I guess more accurately semi western, and having almost broken my mind on more then one occasion; haha, trying to wrap my . around the idea of the "ain, ain soph, ain soph or" and "un-manifested god." etc, that I have a very different view of emptiness or the abyss, then it being nothing. It is both simultaneously empty and full, still but filled with the potential of all things. It may be an incorrect interpretation but for me it works, at least for now, but then I always try to maintain a state of continuous growth, so tomorrow my views may change. haha




At any rate, I am not so certain that this "chattering monkey mind" is actually called an Ego in Eastern philosophy and the conflation is derived from Western translators desperately looking for Western words that might fit into the context of whatever word was used to describe "chattering monkey mind".


I agree it most probably is not, but I have seen it translated that way many times, which is why I mentioned it. Anyway thanks for the discussion.

edit on 6-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typos

edit on 6-2-2012 by prisoneronashipoffools because: typo



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:03 PM
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Again this is a philosophy of scientific method called Holism.


Scientific holism holds that the behavior of a system cannot be perfectly predicted, no matter how much data is available. Natural systems can produce surprisingly unexpected behavior, and it is suspected that behavior of such systems might be computationally irreducible, which means it would not be possible to even approximate the system state without a full simulation of all the events occurring in the system. Key properties of the higher level behavior of certain classes of systems may be mediated by rare "surprises" in the behavior of their elements due to the principle of interconnectivity, thus evading predictions except by brute force simulation. Stephen Wolfram has provided such examples with simple cellular automata, whose behavior is in most cases equally simple, but on rare occasions highly unpredictable.[14]

edit on 6-2-2012 by tetra50 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by tetra50
reply to post by ottobot
 


IMHO, the whole is in fact greater than the sum of its parts.
second


The whole is greater than any of its parts unless they are all combined.

1+1+1 = ONE

That said, each "1" is really an imaginary number. You know it is a number and that it has limits, but anything is possible within those limits. The parts cannot be standardized other than in broad terms, and thus the result is an amazing and mysterious sum.

x+y+z = XYZ or YZX or XZY or 1 or ONE or ENO or NEO ...



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 12:49 AM
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Ego is the negitive side of the proverbial fight of the flesh against the spirit...

reluctant-messenger.com...




posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 12:57 AM
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I used to believe that very thing, that ego is basically the stumbling block holding me back from a higher understanding, I even tried going without a name for a while..but it wasn't until a entheogen based meditative experience that I realized that ego is absolutely necessary to us if we still wish to function in society and communicate with other human beings.

Now if I was a monk sequestered on a mountain top somewhere this wouldn't be a problem, but with someone like me who is seeking enlightenment yet also has a family to take care of it is essential to at least use ego as a tool of communication and a means to apply my will out of meditative and into the physical realm.

Great thread man, love stuff like this



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by ottobot
 

yes, with math. Math is a language we invented as a representative process, to make analagous and predictive situations. However, it has its limitations, and perhaps should not always be used because of its comparative limitations. See the definition above I referenced for holism. It's only my opinion, of course, but I do think we rely on math far too often to express what isn't a matter of mathematics. It seeks to take the exact surprise I am speaking of out of anything else.



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